Welcome one, welcome all, to another weekly review for Ring of Honor. After last week’s blistering re-cap show that ended with Marty Scurll and PCO going head to head for the ROH World Heavyweight Championship #1 Contender’s spot, this week sees, well, pretty much the same thing if truth be told.
The company seems intent on making sure you purchase a monthly subscription to Honor Club, so each week, instead of a full card, we get a highlight reel with a Main Event.
Gone are the days of being able to tune in and watch your favorite ROH stars put on mind-blowing matches for free, these are now saved for PPV’s but as I said last week, a ROH clip-show is still pretty damn good.
So with all that in mind, let’s lace up our boots and head to the ring for The Ring of Honor Weekly Review.
ROH World Championship: Jeff Cobb vs Rush
Straight off the bat, this week ROH offers up their World Heavyweight Championship as the curtain-raiser. It’s a bold move as usually a match of this magnitude goes on last, but as Rush is already lined up to face PCO at Final Battle then it’s safe to say we know how this is going to end.
That’s not to say that this wasn’t one hell of an entertaining bout, far from it, it was fricking brutal as right from the outset both these bruisers traded shots that could level buildings.
From Rush hitting a Mexican Destroyer that, somehow, didn’t cave Cobb’s skull in, to Cobb returning the favor with a spear that nearly took Rush clean out of his boots, it was a hard-hitting match from start to finish.
It also kept both wrestlers strong, as they traded power move after power move and even though Rush got the 1-2-3 in the end, Cobb came out of this looking like a beast especially as it took two Bull’s Horns to put him down.
Winner And Still ROH Heavyweight World Champion: Rush
I wouldn’t normally bother with a re-cap here but I feel that Jay Lethal’s full-on heel turn deserves a mention. For the past few week’s he’s been teaming with Jonathan Gresham in an uneasy alliance, but this all changed during a match between Lethal and Mark Briscoe.
While everyone was distracted, Gresham beamed Briscoe in the head with a steel chair, cutting him open. This brought the older Briscoe brother to the ring and while Lethal was remonstrating with his tag partner, he suddenly spun around and gave Jay the same treatment his brother Mark had just had.
I haven’t seen a chair shot like that since The Rock vs Mankind and I physically winced as he made contact with Jay’s head.
WOH World Championship: Mandy Leon vs Kelly Klein
The more I see Kelly Klien in action, the more I’m convinced that she’s one of the best wrestlers on the planet today. She seems to have it all and is improving with each match. She can sell her opponents offense brilliantly and is devastating in her own attacks and I think she’s going to go on to be one of the biggest stars in the industry.
This bout almost had a very dodgy ending when Leon suckered the Ref by bringing a chair into the ring. When his back was turned, as he removed it, she clocked Klein with the title and pinned her for the three count.
Neither I or the crowd were happy about this but, thankfully, Senior Referee Todd Sinclair came down to the ring and said, nope, she’s a dirty cheater, so the fight continued.
While Leon was throwing a fit about this, Klein stalked up behind her, waited for her to turn around and dropped her with the K-Power. 1-2-3 and Klein is the winner.
Winner And Still WOH World Champion: Kelly Klein
Flamita vs “Speedball” Mike Bailey
This is the performance that got Flamita a contract with ROH which we reported here yesterday. And it’s not hard to see why. Having stepped in when his friend Bandido was legitimately injured, both Flamita and “Speedball” Mike Bailey put on a show.
High-flying moves and hard kicking feet were the order of the day here. Both performers left it all in the ring and why ROH didn’t sign both men on the strength of this showing is beyond me. Bailey deserves a chance in the big time as much as Flamita but it’s the former AAA legend that got the call and the win after a 450 settled the bout.
Seriously, if anyone from ROH reads this, sign Bailey, sign him now!
ROH World Television Championship: Joe Hendry vs Shane Taylor
During the Global Wars eSpectacular, Joe Hendry had fought Shane Taylor to a Time Limit Draw which most people had thought would be an impossibility. With Taylor being such a dominant champion, most expected Joe to put on a good showing but to lose in the end so when the fight went the distance, everyone instantly demanded a re-match.
Well, sometimes you do get what you ask for.
What started out as a cagey affair with both competitors trying to figure each other each, soon descended into a hard-hitting, body crushing, test of endurance as both men brought their A-game.
Taylor spent a lot of time bouncing Hendry off of things. Be that his shoulder, with a variation on the Tower of London, popularised by Nigel McGuinness, or just throwing him headfirst into the barricades and Hendry would retaliate by somehow Front Suplexing the behemoth and slapping on two Hendry Locks.
It all ended after Talor nailed his finisher, Greetings From 216, but what makes this The Ring of Honor Weekly Review match of the show was just how brilliantly paced it was. From a slow start, it built to a crescendo of moves and counter moves, each one looking more devastating than the last, and when Taylor finally got the win it wasn’t just the two men in the ring who were exhausted.
Everyone watching was as well.
Winner And Stil ROH Television Champion: Shane Taylor
Here at The Ring of Honor Weekly Review, we do miss the old format of the show. Where, as I said in the intro, we’d get three plus matches of full length and high quality each week, now we just have to make do with a Main Event and a few highlight packages. Which is a shame.
But I get it, it’s a business and the point behind any business is to make money, so it’s obvious that they’re going to push Honor Club as much as possible.
I do long for the old days though and who knows, maybe somewhere down the line they’ll be making enough bank to give away some more gems for free but until then we’re just going to have to put up with this format.
And if I’m going to have to watch a highlight reel each and every week, then ROH is a pretty good place to start.